how-to DRESS for traning

Astrid Uhrenholdt Jacobsen reveals the secrets of dressing for cross-country.

Whatever your training intensity. Wherever you choose to do your cross-country skiing. Ventilation and insulation are essential for adjusting body temperature and humidity in cool air.

Here is Jacobsen’s advice on what to wear to increase your performance.


I usually wear a race suit and headband or a beanie when I’m doing hard workouts. It gives me the same feeling as when I’m competing. If the temperature dips below minus 5 degrees, I add technical base layer underwear, such as the ‘compete super’. Depending on the temperature and the intensity I may skip the base layer pants.

For warm ups and cool down, I always bring some outerwear with windproofing in the front. I choose thickness depending on the temperature. The ‘Spectrum’ is one of my favorites. A neck covering buff can always come in handy.

How to dress for workouts in unstable or wet winter weather:

When the temperature is around zero degrees and there is a possibility of rain or wet snow, you want to choose clothing with some resistance. This is even more important if there is a chance of wind as well. The main thing is to keep rain and wind out, but since the temperature is rather mild, you will still be warm from the workout. You will probably not spend much time sitting around in the snow either.

I recommend a windproof outer layer and fewer base layers or insulating layers.

How to dress for a cross-country race:

There are strong individual tastes when it comes to racing wear. I’m a rather warm person myself, so for temperatures of minus 3 degrees and higher, I wear a thin race suit, a headband and thin racing gloves.

I don’t like to be overdressed for warm-ups, either. They tend to be quite hard. So I wear only a technical base layer and a light outerwear.

After competition I’m usually in the exact opposite position. Then I easily freeze and have to change everything right away. First, I put on a thin base layer, then wool insulation layer or even a wool sweater, and then a top layer of jacket and pants. I like to bring a good woolen beanie, warm mittens and thick socks.


On longer runs it is all about being dressed according to the weather. You don’t want to get cold, but not too warm and sweaty either. I like to dress in several thin layers. It makes it easier to peel off some of them if it gets too hot.

On more social skiing trips, when the pauses are longer, it is important not to get cold. And that happens more easily if you are wet from sweating. A good technical base layer, with effective drainage goes a long way. And I recommend rather two thin jackets or one thin jacket and a PrimaLoft vest instead of one thick jacket. I like to be able to adjust the temperature as precisely as possible.


It is important for me to be able to move freely. For instance, the clothing should not sag from sweat, rain or water from swampy fields. It should be tight fitting all the way. My favorites are the short or long ‘compete super’ pants.

For the warm up stage, I bring a light jacket, and I always put an extra base layer sweater in my fuel belt to put on after heavy intervals.